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Episode 524: Debt Forgiveness & Developing an Integrated Faith with Rich Villodas

Immediately after President Biden announced his college loan forgiveness plan Christians started debating it. Some are arguing that debt forgiveness is deeply biblical, while others say it’s completely immoral. Who’s right? Or, are both sides missing the point?

Then, Phil is still processing the last French Friday episode about why so many politically active evangelicals see policy goals as absolute and Christian virtues as flexible. He offers his theories. Skye then talks to pastor Rich Villodas about his conversion, his early spiritual formation, and how he’s avoided the pitfalls of pastoral ministry. His new book is “Good and Beautiful and Kind: Becoming Whole in a Fractured World.” Plus: Row, row, row…your pumpkin?

News Segment

0:00 - Intro

2:48 - Pumpkin boat recording

13:36 - French Friday follow-up

29:27 - Debt forgiveness

Interview with Rich Villodas

“Good and Beautiful and Kind: Becoming Whole in a Fractured World” -

48:11 - Rich Villodas interview intro

49:54 - Rich’s background and early spiritual formation

1:03:59 - Mentors

1:11:11 - The church today

1:13:38 - Self-differentiation

1:18:27 - Coaching pastors and leaders

1:23:42 - Advice for church leaders 1:27:43 - Credits

“‘Gourdspeed.’ 60-year-old paddles 38 miles in huge pumpkin to set record, photos show” -

French Friday: De-Radicalizing the Church & Learning from Atheists -

“Christian Political Ethics are Upside-Down” by David French (The Dispatch) -

“Republicans Opposing Student-Loan Relief Are Forgetting the Biblical Tradition of Debt Forgiveness” by William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Time) -

“Is There a Christian Case for Biden’s Debt Relief Plan?” by David French (The Dispatch) -

“Best of: Cancel America’s Student Loan Debt! But How?” podcast episode (The Argument, NYT) -

Rich Villodas:

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22 commentaires

Really appreciated the interview with Rich Villodas!

And I know I'm way late, but on the topic of large pumpkins:


I haven't finished listening yet, but already have a couple of comments: 1) I'm shocked that neither Skye nor Kaitlyn immediately thought of a link to Ecclesiastes for the pumpkin story. There's a time for everything, right?Play is such an important element of a healthy mind, body, and spirit. And sadly, it's often in short supply in adults.

2) Regarding the debt forgiveness discussion, maybe you touch on this (I haven't finished listening yet), but saying that people who have college degrees will automatically make a lot more money than those who don't is blatantly and infuriatingly false. I'm sure that comment has teachers and social workers up in arms, just to name two. I have a degree in English…


Ericka J I
Ericka J I
03 sept. 2022

hhaha i listen to the podcast then my local-ish newspaper writes about it :P


This pod a really great conversation on the policy and higher education


Paul Barnes
Paul Barnes
02 sept. 2022

I was surprised and disappointed to hear Skye repeat the misconception that the availability of student loans encourages colleges to increase their cost of attendance. This is an example of a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

The cost of attending college has gone up so much over the past 40 years for the simple reason that for the past 40 years states have decreased the subsidies to higher education down to as close to nothing as they can get away with. Sometime during the 70s the perception of the value of a college education changed. It went from being a positive for society in general to a positive for the individual only. Moreover, conservatives began to be nervous…

Skye Jethani
Skye Jethani
02 sept. 2022
En réponse à

Yes, lack of state funding is definitely a big factor in the rise of tuition, but it's far from the only factor. Malcolm Gladwell had done a number of pieces about this issue highlighting the increasing student life costs (gyms, dining facilities, etc) that goes into attracting students. High school students looking at colleges are rarely persuaded by the caliber of the faculty or the academic experience. They're drawn to pick one school over another because of the student life activities, facilities, and athletics. My daughter attends my alma mater. When I was there in the 90s, dorms had no air conditioning, linoleum flooring, and bare-bones common spaces. And every dining hall offered the same basic food. Now, the dorms…

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